Inquests: Living With the Dead


Their use is strictly controlled and always confidential. The pathologist will provide the preliminary results of the post-mortem examination to the Coroner very quickly. However, a final written report may not be available for some considerable time as further tests may need to be carried out and these can take time to complete. They will also be able to say if any organs or tissue have been retained following the post-mortem examination. The family will be informed when this happens and they may also request a copy of the final report from the Coroner. The report may contain complex medical terminology, and the family may wish to discuss the findings with their family doctor.

Family members may feel that they would like to discuss the post-mortem examination with the pathologist who carried it out. The pathologist, with the authority of the Coroner, may need to retain any organs and tissue samples removed at the post-mortem examination to assist in the investigation into the death.

Final day of Kahui Inquest

The Royal College of Pathologists recommends that tissue blocks and slides form part of the medical pathology records and that they should be retained in case they need to be reviewed at a later time. If they are retained, access to them will be strictly controlled and they will not be used for any purpose without permission of the next of kin.

This means it may not be possible to have the case more fully reviewed or to seek a second opinion at a later date. The body will be prepared by the mortuary staff and then released to an undertaker who can make arrangements for family and relatives to view the body. Normally any incisions cuts that have been made during the post-mortem examination will not be visible.

The funeral director will be able to tell you if there are any visible signs of the examination before you view the body. The body is normally released immediately after the post-mortem examination.

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Very rarely, usually in criminal cases, it may be necessary for the pathologist to retain the body for further re-examination. If this is the case, the family will be given information about this and every effort will be made to release the body as quickly as possible. If the death was due to natural causes which a doctor is able to confirm, the Coroner will advise the Registrar by issuing a Coroner's notification and the death can be registered and a death certificate issued.

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However, if a post-mortem examination is ordered, or, if an inquest is to be held, then the death cannot be registered until the Coroner's investigation has been completed. In these circumstances funeral arrangements should not be finalised until the Coroner has authorised the release of the body for burial or cremation. A funeral may take place once the Coroner is satisfied that the body is no longer required for the investigation.

Even if the Coroner is going to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death, the funeral can still take place as soon as the Coroner has released the body. An inquest is an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding a death. The purpose of the inquest is to find out who the deceased person was and how, when and where they died and to provide the details needed for their death to be registered.

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It is not a trial. It is not for the Coroner to determine, or appear to determine, any question of criminal or civil liability or to apportion guilt or attribute blame. Inquests are open to the public and the media. Coroners decide who should attend to give evidence as witnesses at an inquest. Would you like to leave feedback about this page? Send us your feedback. Happy Birthday "I bought him the shotgun for his birthday.

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It was, it was all a bit shady. We are a small team but will try to reply as quickly as possible. Anyone who believes that they may have information that may help can offer to give evidence by informing the coroner. As well as issuing permission for the funeral to go ahead, the coroner can issue a Certificate of the Fact of Death often referred to as an interim certificate , which can be used to notify asset holders and other organisations of the death and to make an application for probate. For example, in Louisiana , coroners are involved in the determination of mental illness of living persons.

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